Semen Freezing

Sperm freezing is a method of preserving a man's sperm cells in order to preserve his fertility if he is undergoing therapy that may compromise his future fertility. Sperm donation to infertile couples is also possible using sperm freezing. This procedure is beneficial to men who are in danger of losing their fertility due to cancer or other health issues. The viability of cryopreserved sperm has no known time limit. Because of their low water content, sperm appear to be less vulnerable to cryopreservation damage than other cell types.

Although some studies have found that sperm freezing and thawing can cause cellular harm, there is no known risk to a fetus created using donor sperm. When properly handled, cryopreserved specimens can last eternally. There have been reports of pregnancies in circumstances where the sperm was frozen for 20 years before being thawed and inseminated.

Benefits of sperm freezing

Sperm freezing can help men who are preparing to undergo cancer treatment or prostate or testicular surgery, both of which can affect sperm quality or production.

  • People who consider having a vasectomy.
  • Are working in high-risk jobs that expose them to chemicals, radiation, or severe heat, all of which can trigger sterility.
  • Ejaculatory dysfunction.
  • Suffering from internal health conditions or undergoing any certain treatment
  • Want to delay taking a child.

Sperm freezing can also be performed by men who desire to donate their sperm to a sperm bank.

Sperm freezing process

Blood testing will be conducted on sperm donors at the first step of sperm freezing, particularly to check for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. It's possible that the individual will be given the option of submitting a specimen at home or at the lab. Men who choose to submit a specimen at the lab will be offered a private area as well as visual aids. Those who collect semen at home will be given detailed instructions. It is recommended that the individual not have an ejaculation for two to five days prior to delivering a sample for optimum results. The count could be low if he has recently ejaculated. Many of the sperm may be immotile if his last ejaculation was too long ago.

Individuals may choose to bank sperm from a single ejaculation, but it is recommended that they provide subsequent samples for sperm freezing. Lab technicians collect sperm samples in a sterile container, then evaluate them for volume, texture, and pH levels. The sperm are also examined under a microscope for motility, sperm count, structure, and other critical characteristics. Before completing the storage, many labs demand an initial test freezing of the sperm.

To prevent sperm damage from freezing, a cryoprotectant is applied to the sperm. Cryoprotectants are low-molecular-weight, permeability compounds that protect sperm against ice crystallization-induced freeze damage. Sperm Freezing can be done in two ways:

  • Slow freezing is a technique that includes gradually cooling sperm over two to four hours in two or three steps. After that, the specimen is submerged in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius.
  • Rapid freezing necessitates eight to ten minutes of direct contact between sterile straws holding the samples and nitrogen vapors, followed by immersing in liquid nitrogen at minus 196°C.

Wrapping Up

If you have the financial resources, sperm freezing can be an excellent choice for preserving your chances of having a biological child. The procedure is extremely efficient and poses low dangers. If you think it would be a viable solution for you or your family, speak with a fertility professional.